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Herman Fouché enjoyed a taste of hometown glory when he ousted the top sprinters in the elite bunch to take his second win at the Emperors Palace Classic road race in Johannesburg on Sunday.

Durban – Two time champion Lynette Burger Pieterse is poised to make a popular comeback to the aQuellé Tour Durban just months after taking a break from competitive road cycling around the birth of her first child.

Defending champion James Perry will be looking to retain his Emperors Palace Classic throne when he lines up for the road race in Kempton Park, Johannesburg, on Sunday, April 12.

The Circuit Cycliste Sarthe is a UCI 2.1 4 day, 5 stage cycle race in France. The race starts on Tuesday 7 April and Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung are happy to be starting this French stage race, our first tour on French soil this year.

Etixx - Quick-Step rider Niki Terpstra found the moment to attack with about 28km to go in 264km Ronde van Vlaanderen on Sunday, going ahead out of a select group of riders that had been reduced to about 25 to 30 riders after the Taaienberg. The group, including several of Etixx - Quick-Step, was at 40 riders after the top of the Koppenberg and reduced further in the following kilometers.

It was an epic battle for the 99th Ronde van Vlaanderen which Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) would eventually ride away with. Niki Terpstra (Etixx-Quickstep) was 2nd across the line with Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) rounding out the minor placings.

Pietermaritzburg – The popular Quattro ROAG Series is back with its second event for 2015 as mountain bike fanatics head up the north coast for the Compendium Sugar Rush Classic on Sunday 19 April and Quattro ROAG Series leader Andrew Hill will be hoping to notch up his second win of the series.

Himeville – The 2015 Nedbank sani2c women’s title challenge is one defending champions Robyn de Groot and Jennie Stenerhag aim to dominate when the three day stage race from Sani Pass to Scottburgh Main beach takes place from 14-16 May despite De Groot’s build-up campaign having been hampered by a plaguing shoulder injury.

The fourth annual 36ONE MTB Challenge will take place in Oudtshoorn from 17-19 April and boasts more than a 50% increase in entries over last year as more mountain bikers seek new challenges and are drawn to the country’s premier ultra-endurance race.

Over 100 foreign mountain bikers from 20 countries will be among the field of 800 for a nine-day tour across South Africa, the Old Mutual joBerg2c, which starts just outside Johannesburg on April 24.

Himeville – The RECM duo of Ariane Kleinhans and Cherise Stander will be teaming up for the iconic Nedbank sani2c hoping to erase their disappointment at not being able to contest the event last year with a serious women’s title challenge.

Pietermaritzburg - Sam Bull rocketed to his first ever Nationals downhill MTB cup victory and Danish stars Sebastian Fini and Simon Andreassen captured the 20km and 50km marathon titles respectively as the successful inaugural Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival at the Cascades MTB Park drew to an end on Sunday.
 
For Fini, who finished fourth in a superb field that contested the men's elite cross country race on Saturday, Sunday's 20km marathon was a fun ride to bring down the curtain on the Danish national team's visit to South Africa.

"I enjoyed the mud! Yesterday we didn't have any mud [during the cross country], so it was nice to have it today," he said.
 
"It has been a good trip. We were in Johannesburg for a week and for a race there, and then we have been in Pietermaritzburg, and I would say it's nicer here in Pietermaritzburg. I was at the Worlds in 2013. Maybe we will come back again. It's a nice course here."
 
The super-talented Simon Andreassen, a junior world champion in both cyclocross and mountain biking, claimed victory in the 50km Classic after fighting off the challenge of South African star James Reid on a route that had been soaked by rain the previous evening.
 
"It was very slippery and wet, and very slow rolling because it was so heavy, but I am used to it in Denmark, so it was fine for me," he said.
 
"After 15 minutes, I broke clear of James. In the middle of race, after I took a wrong turn, he caught me again. Before the last downhill, I tried to attack and I managed to break away. It was a lot of fun," he added.
 
"Watching Simon is quite interesting because he pedals completely differently to other people. You always learn, even from a guy who is four years younger than me. He has got a technique-orientated style, a very complete pedal stroke, and he is pedalling all the time and keeping momentum," Reid said.
 
With a smile on his face, he continued: "We've got a good crop of [South African] juniors nowadays. It is really good. There were a whole lot that were still with us in Hilton and I didn't know these guys. That was really cool."
 
"To have a world champion standing on the podium today was great, and it just shows that people still think of Pietermaritzburg as a very viable, international venue, which I think is fantastic," event organiser Alec Lenferna weighed in.

The elite men's podium after the downhill nationals at the Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival at the Cascades MTB Park on Sunday, (from left) Tiaan Odendaal, (2nd), Sam Bull (1st) and Tim Bentley (3rd). © craigdutton.com

 

Multisport star Carla van Huysteen was a runaway winner of the women's title. It was her first time back on a mountain bike since she broke her left wrist nine weeks ago, which caused her some pain on the climbs, but it was something that was not going to stop her.
 
"I'm in Seventh Heaven," she grinned. "It was really messy and muddy. There were some descents where I can't believe I stayed on my bike. It was a really good course, though, very pumpy, hard climbing, lots of it. I don't know what the elevation was, but we ascended a lot. It's just an amazing track."
 
The downhill wrapped up the Festival, just in time to avoid afternoon rain, and it came down to the three final riders racing down the hill. Tim Bentley clocked a 4:39.8 to better Sam Bull's fastest qualifying run of 4:40, but it looked as if reigning national champion Tiaan Odendaal might have wrapped up victory when he slashed a massive eight seconds off of Bentley's time. Bull, however, then ran an astonishing 4:28.7 to steal the win.
 
There were plenty of congratulations offered to the man from Howick after a fine effort. With a satisfied look, almost of disbelief, on his face, Bull said: "It's my first National Cup win. I've won quite a few first race [seeding] runs in Provincials and other races, but I have always been pipped. I have had a lot of second places.
 
"I'm happy to finish three seconds ahead of Tiaan. He and I are the same age. We've battled a lot throughout the years and he was always a step above me coming through the junior ranks; he had raced a bit longer than me. Now I am just stoked to be where I wanted to be, especially at a National level. To tick off a Nationals win is really awesome. I am very happy with that."
 
Lenferna, the man behind numerous top UCI events in Pietermaritzburg, including MTB, BMX, track and road, said he was satisfied with how the Festival had played out.
 
"I think this concept is one that can work. It is something that we will explore going forward. I like the opportunity that it affords for people to watch proper racing, like the elite cross country on Saturday, and then be able to ride today. The idea of being a spectator and a participant is really cool.
 
"The multi-disciplinality of the event was something that was interesting and worth exploring more," he concluded.
 
RESULTS

2015 Stihl SA National Downhill Cup #2?Cascades, Pietermaritzburg
 
1. Sam Bull 4:28.719
2. Tiaan Odendaal 4:31.928
3. Tim Bentley 4:39.852
4. Andrew Martin 4:42.077
5. Ryan Frerichs 4:46.438
6. Christopher Philogene 4:50.551
7. Andre Pretorius 4:53.801
8. Kelvin Purchase 4:55.302
9. David Hogan 4:55.519
10. Shane Martin 5:01.235

Top German pro triathlete, Till Schramm, is heading to Port Elizabeth, SA, to take on the world’s toughest sportsmen in the Standard Bank IRONMAN African Championship -- and to donate R25 000 to triathlon development in SA.

Tension was rife in Grabouw on Sunday, 22 February 2015 when close to 800 eager sports enthusiasts lined up to partake in the multisport event of the year, the TOTALSPORTS XTERRA South African Championship presented by REHIDRAT® SPORT.

The second Discovery World Triathlon Cape Town to be hosted in Cape Town on 25 and 26 April will be the first major international event to make use of the brand new Green Point Athletics Stadium.

The Grabouw Country Club will be a hub of excitement this coming weekend when multi-sport athletes young and slightly more senior gather to partake in the largest XTERRA triathlon in the word, the TOTALSPORTS XTERRA Grabouw presented by REHIDRAT® SPORT.

The highly anticipated showdown between duathlon racing star, Brand du Plessis, and multiple Xterra World Champion, Conrad Stoltz, played out in spectacular fashion at the first leg of the Momentum Health OatWell Dual Cross, powered by PeptoPro near Pretoria at the weekend.

Off-road triathletes taking on the action-packed TOTALSPORTS XTERRA Full presented by REHIDRAT® SPORT on Sunday, 22 February 2015 now have more reason to pull out all the stops as event organisers announce a whopping prize purse increase of R80 000, taking the overall prize purse to an impressive total of R249 000.

Images from the 2015 Emperors Classic Road Race held at Emperors Casino.

Images from Day 4 of the 2015 SA Track Championships held at Hector Norris Park.

Images from Day 4 of the 2015 SA Track Championships held at Hector Norris Park.

Images from Day 3 of the 2015 SA Track Championships held at Hector Norris Park.

Images from Day 2 of the 2015 SA Track Championships held at Hector Norris Park.

Images from Day 1 of the 2015 SA Track Championships held at Hector Norris Park.

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